There’s a ton of environmental nonprofits out there, all asking for donations and being committed to various causes pertaining to the environment, such as climate change and saving the rainforests.
It’s not always easy to know which ones you should donate to, especially if you’re not in the financial position to donate a lot of money to several organizations at once.
What, exactly, is an environmental nonprofit?
These organizations are referred to as ENGOs – environmental non-governmental organizations. They play important roles in tackling environmental problems around the world.
These environmental organizations receive funds from private donors as they are not run by the government, which is why donations from the public are so important.
If you’re keen to donate money to an environmental nonprofit, you might wonder which one you should consider.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most valuable environmental nonprofit organizations that are making a real difference in the world.
- 1 What Environmental Nonprofits Should You Help?
- 2 What To Know About Donating To Environmental Nonprofits
- 3 Other Ways To Give To An Environmental Nonprofit
- 4 Why You Should Support Environmental Organizations
- 5 Will Your Donation Make A Difference?
- 6 Related Questions
- 7 Conclusion
What Environmental Nonprofits Should You Help?
While there are many more environmental nonprofits than the ones on this list, these are some of the best-rated organizations that ensure your money (or other donations) will be put to good use.
The Foundation For Climate Restoration (F4CR)
This nonprofit organization has a goal to restore the climate by the year 2050, and it intends to do this in various ways, such as by uniting businesses, the public, and policy makers to work on its missions.
Some of its work includes finding solutions to problems such as how to decrease carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and rebuild the Arctic ice, with the help of technology.
The foundation has already gone global, taking part in international projects to restore the climate by encouraging businesses, NGOs, governments, and people all over the world to support technologies to help us all maintain a healthy planet.
To support this foundation, you should check out their Climate Restoration Pledge page where you can donate money, either as a once-off payment or monthly.
Environmental Defense Fund
The Environmental Defense Fund is an organization that concentrates on tackling ecological issues that not only affect the planet but have a direct effect on humans.
These include sustainable fishing, restoring ecosystems, avoiding chemicals in household usage, and forming clean energy initiatives.
The Environmental Defense Fund has over two million members and is backed by a staff that contains hundreds of scientists, economists, and other professionals.
This organization’s work looks at the following:
- Using innovation and improving policies to ensure that we can reduce toxic chemicals and air pollution in our lives;
- Expanding sustainable fishing on a global scale;
- Finding ways to meet the demand for food, shelter, and water so that people can survive and thrive even during climate change;
- Focusing on achieving a cleaner economy, such as by targeting U.S. states to have innovative projects in place to reduce climate pollution.
This organization is the biggest nonprofit environmental law organization in the United States.
It was established in 1971 and hit the ground running with its first mission: to thwart Walt Disney’s plans to develop a ski resort in Mineral King Valley, located in Sequoia National Park.
The organization was not only successful in its endeavor but ensured that the land would remain protected and it also set a precedent that gave citizens the right to sue for environmental damages, as Best Life reports.
Earthjustice describes itself as the backbone of the environmental movement and its team of lawyers work on various issues, such as restoring clean water, protecting people from harmful chemicals, protecting wildlife that’s being threatened, and many more.
They have also won most of the cases that they have been involved in.
An example is how the organization’s legal work has contributed to toxic chemicals such as fumigants that are used in farming to be withdrawn or banned.
If you’re feeling inspired to contribute to the great work Earthjustice is doing, you can donate money via their website, by leaving a gift to the organization in your will, donating stocks, and more.
Sierra Club Foundation
This foundation has been around for a long time – it started out with helping to protect the environment back in 1892!
Since then, it has been involved in various major environmental laws to improve our wellbeing as well as that of the planet.
For example, it was involved in passing the Clean Air act. The Sierra Club Foundation has over three million volunteers as well as activists who support it.
In its goal to improve the wellbeing of people, the foundation offers wilderness excursions to help people get outdoors and learn more about our amazing planet.
Another one of its important goals is to work towards building a more diverse environmental movement that reflects the American public and makes connections between social justice and environmental health.
For example, it works to tackle the problem of how certain people in society, such as low-income families, bear the brunt of health burdens due to climate changes and disruptions.
You can donate money to the Sierra Club Foundation or get involved in other ways, such as by making a financial commitment from your living trust.
Center For Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity is making things happen. This environmental nonprofit organization, which was established in 1989, has been working hard to protect animals and their habitats, as well as plants.
To date, the Center for Biological Diversity has won the majority of its lawsuits, as The Balance reports.
The organization is currently involved in two lawsuits that are challenging Trump’s administration to allow the Arctic to undergo gas and oil drilling.
You can donate to them in various ways, such as with gift memberships, monthly donations, or others.
National Parks Association
If you love being outdoors and visiting national parks, you’ll likely want to protect them.
That’s what the National Parks Conservation Association has been doing since 1919. It uses the contributions from its members as well as fundraising events to help achieve a better life for all of us.
This includes taking action against polluted air in national parks, unethical hunting, and more.
The National Parks Conservation Association also works with policy and program experts, volunteers, commutations specialists, and others, to inform the public and encourage decision makers about protecting our precious national parks, which are home to many endemic species.
By having national parks, we can ensure we stay connected to the beauty of nature and preserve it.
Go ahead and donate to the National Parks Conservation Association – you can do so on their website.
The Coral Reef Restoration Foundation
Deep within our oceans, coral reefs are dying. This is not only problematic for the oceans, as many animals depend on coral reefs to survive, but their death and disappearance affects us.
For example, it deprives fishermen of their incomes, which will cause a decline in the tourism industry and force them to find work elsewhere.
To combat this problem, the foundation grows corals in offshore nurseries and then places them in carefully selected sites.
This is the largest coral reef restoration foundation, and it teams up with NGOs, universities, government agencies, and more, to make a difference.
You can get involved by donating, volunteering, or even helping the foundation to gather data. You can learn more by visiting their website.
The Rainforest Alliance
Our rainforests are the lungs of our planet, but they’re in distress.
The Rainforest Alliance combines agriculture and business to make important changes to fight environmental and social issues, such as protecting the forest, improving the wellbeing of forest communities, and more.
This foundation has established sustainability programs in over 70 countries and has worked on over 100 projects that help to improve the lives of farmers and forest communities, as well as improve the wellbeing of nature itself.
To get involved, you can donate money or give in other ways. Visit the website for more details.
What To Know About Donating To Environmental Nonprofits
Before you donate your money to an environmental organization, whether local or international, make sure you bear the following in mind:
- It’s important to do your homework. You should always check the company’s website, about section, and FAQ section to find out where the donations will go, such as what causes the money is going to fund.
- Find the most reputable organizations. If you’re not sure if the organization is reputable or not, here’s what you should do: visit Charity Navigator. This website rates different charities according to various factors and gives them a rating of 1 to 4 stars. However, it’s only for charities that are located in the United States.
- Avoid donating money to cold-callers. You’re busy and receive a call that’s supposedly from a charity asking for your donations. Although you might feel guilty to say no, you shouldn’t go ahead. The reason for this is because these cold-callers are actually for-profit contractors who offer a small portion of the donations they receive to the charity, but there’s no guarantee that the charity you think you’re supporting with your donation will get anything. It’s therefore always a safer idea to donate your hard-earned money to an organization directly.
Other Ways To Give To An Environmental Nonprofit
It’s not just your money that you should consider giving to these organizations who are striving to make a difference in the world – there are many other ways in which you can do your part.
As you’ll see on many websites of environmental nonprofits, they list other ways to offer support instead of giving a monetary donation.
This can include volunteering your time or becoming an activist. You can even help the organization by spreading the word of what they’re doing on social media or by signing a petition on their website.
Another idea is to attend protests or events that are organized by the charity so that you can show your support.
Of course, it doesn’t help if you’re keen to offer your time or money to an environmental nonprofit organization but your lifestyle doesn’t reflect this.
Therefore, by making positive and green changes to your life, you can help to make a difference in the environment while also helping the work that these organizations do.
Here are some ideas:
- Stop using plastic as this will reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the environment;
- Stop relying on your car to get you everywhere, and try to use your bike instead. This will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions;
- Stop using so much paper. It’s alarming to think that 40 percent of the world’s commercially cut timber is used to make paper, as The World Counts reports. Reduce how much paper you use and save the trees!
- Donate your clothing and other items you don’t use instead of throwing them in the trash, where they will just end up in landfills that pollute the environment;
- Reduce how much meat you eat. Even if you don’t completely give up eating meat, just reducing the quantity that you eat can go a long way to making a difference. Red meat, for instance, is responsible for up to 40 times as many greenhouse emissions as grains and vegetables, as the Scientific American reports.
Why You Should Support Environmental Organizations
With so many charities out there, it’s not always easy to know which ones deserve your attention.
While it’s worth bearing in mind that you can donate money or volunteer your time to more than one, there are some good reasons why you should put environmental organizations on your list.
They’re Fighting For Our Future
We hear about the devastating effects of climate change on a daily basis and while we try to make positive changes in our lives to make a difference, it’s not always easy to feel positive about the future.
By supporting the organizations that are right on the frontlines of the battle to reverse climate change, this can make us feel that we’re doing even more to help.
These organizations are teaming up with governments, universities, and other organizations to make a real difference. The more support they get, the more they can continue their work.
The Environment’s Wellbeing Directly Affects Our Own
You might think that saving the coral reefs or rainforests doesn’t affect you directly, but as we’ve seen in this article it really does!
When we support efforts that help to deal with how climate change has affected the environment, this also helps the communities that have been hardest hit by the changes.
When we support initiatives to save the rainforests, we’re working towards saving our own air as well as protecting a resource that provides us with medicinal plants that can maintain our wellbeing.
On the other hand, supporting the organizations that are protecting our oceans means that we can mitigate climate disasters that directly affect us – after all, the ocean transfers heat from the equator to the poles and this helps to regulate our weather patterns, as the National Ocean Service reports.
Will Your Donation Make A Difference?
While it certainly helps to know where your donation is going, you might still wonder if your donation is doing anything of value.
But it’s important to realize that even a small donation is contributing to a positive cause.
If everyone made the same donation, great things could happen in our environment and society, so never underestimate the power of your what you give.
You can further feel that your donation has meaning by sending a gift donation in honor of a loved one who has passed, or by volunteering your time.
Ultimately, finding a way to donate that makes the most sense to you and makes you feel you’re really doing a good deed is important to encourage you to donate again in future or encourage others to donate.
Are donations to environmental nonprofits tax deductible?
Most of these organizations are registered as 501(c) (3) organizations, and this means that your donations are eligible for deduction, but you’ll need to check with them to be 100 percent sure.
Can you get tax deductions for volunteering?
You generally can’t get a tax break for offering your time to doing charitable work.
However, it might be possible to get deductions for expenses, such as gas mileage or phone calls, provided these expenses are directly linked to the work you do for the charity.
You might not be a member of an environmental nonprofit organization, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them out.
In this article, we’ve looked at some of the best environmental nonprofits to donate your time and money to, as well as featured important information you need to know before you donate your hard-earned money to any charity.